I have always loved creating things that would be both useful and appealing. I started with sketching designs for building my own small Lego mechanisms and making intricate birthday cards that my friends would always look forward to getting (so much so that they would forget to look at the actual present I bought them). From there, I went to designing a medical device that would help with back stiffness and muscle relaxation. Creating something that brought joy always made me extremely proud.
In high school I did various activities that would help me learn both technical and soft skills. For example, I obtained pitching skills by competing in the Public Speaking Competition. I also learned several technical skills by taking part in the First Tech Challenge competition alongside my high school’s robotics team in the construction department. Other than construction, I did a lot of designs for the team’s posters, roll-ups, diplomas for Velocity-organised events, never losing touch with my artistic ability. I found my passion for industrial design when working as an UI/UX designer for the app Biosense, an app that is supposed to measure how clean the air in a room is, for the company NAPA Romania.
During my first year at TU/e, there have been countless challenges I had to face. Most of them were related to hard skills, and more specifically my inexperience when encountering technical difficulties. I have learned more than I could have imagined, and developed not only in the technical departments, but also in the soft disciplines.
My first goal when coming to this university was to develop my technical skills in programming and technical sketching. In the first two quartiles however, I broadened my horizons and dived into more hard disciplines: complex prototyping with hard materials, 3D modelling and printing, and working with circuits. I am proud to say that I have managed to develop in all of these skills. Researching is also something I have learned to do in a professional way, by following courses such as USE Basics, From Idea To Design and Project 1. This allowed me to gain valuable insights into the wants and needs of the stakeholders involved in my future projects.
I am also satisfied that I had the opportunity to greatly improve my soft skills as well, such as pitching, organisation and using my ability to relate to the users. All of these skills I acquired not only by following the set curriculum but also by attending extra curricular activities such as Design Cases.
Every day that I gain more knowledge, I become more balanced as a designer, and am able to reach higher and higher in my ambitions and goals (both short term and long term).
I have always enjoyed the process of creating and prototyping, but felt that my technical skills were unsatisfactory, which is why I believe that Technology & Realisation is the expertise area I have developed most in over the course of last year.
The first course which improved my understanding of technology and how to implement it into designs was Creative Programming. During this course I acquired technical, coding related knowledge and learned how to do ample research into concepts foreign to me and learn to use them. During the course Creative Electronics I learned how circuits work, how every single component behaved and how to connect them in order to make a functional whole.
In order to broaden my understanding of implementation of technology into modern design I attended various extracurricular activities such as Design Cases, where I learned how to design and 3D model smart products for companies, and attended multiple presentations held by companies about the implementation of AI in modern products, as part of my research into human-machine interaction.
During Project 1, my newly acquired skills allowed me to think in a more technical way, not limiting myself to just figuring out the aesthetics, but work with my team in order to create a functional product that fits into our theme of Intelligent Agents. I learned, acquired and implemented all sorts of hands-on skills such as building circuits, programming different parts of the circuit, soldering, using machinery for wood cutting, working with textiles and sewing.
Having this knowledge will help me, as a future designer, collaborate with technical stakeholders in order to create a smart product. I wish to be a balanced designer that possesses various engineering skills, and these courses has helped me achieve that, setting the boundaries for further learning and self improvement.
Technology & realization
I’ve always known the importance of becoming a balanced designer. I pride myself in my ability to create concepts of both practical and aesthetically pleasing products. But in order to bring the design to life, I must learn more technical skills other than sketching and complex prototyping. I wish to do more mathematical-programming and go more in depth than what I have already learned so far, and dive in further into the usage of electronics. I also wish to develop my skills within the Business and Entrepreneurship expertise area.
To achieve this, I plan on taking the USE track “Internet of things” offered by TU/e to learn the specified skills, as well as courses such as Digital Craftsmanship and Intelligent Interactive Products. I wish to work at least 4 hours a week for every skill and keep track of my progress so that I know what still needs improvement. I also plan on working on my hard skills during Project 2 and Project 3, as well as taking on extracurricular activities such as Design Cases, workshops, presentations and so on. I also wish to self develop outside of the set curriculum by joining a student team (team Ignite, once again in order to improve my technical skills) or joining the Honors Academy (the Empowerment for Health and Wellbeing track).